Let’s try this one more time.
Henry Cejudo confirmed late Thursday that he is planning to face Sergio Pettis at UFC 218 on Dec. 2 in Detroit. Cejudo’s confirmation follows an initial report by MMA Fighting that the bout was being targeted for Little Caesars Arena.
Cejudo and Pettis had originally been slated to face each other at UFC 211 earlier this year in Dallas, but Cejudo had to withdraw from the fight due to a hand injury.
Currently ranked No. 2 in the UFC flyweight division, Cejudo (11-2) is in an awkward position when it comes to getting another crack at the title. The only two blemishes on his record are the two men ahead of him in the rankings. Cejudo lost to champion Demetrious Johnson at UFC 197 and followed that with a loss to perennial No. 1 contender Joseph Benavidez at The Ultimate Fighter 24 Finale.
He has bounced back, however, with a second-round knockout of No. 6 ranked Wilson Reis. Following that with a win over No. 4 ranked Pettis, who is making a hard charge at the championship, would be a huge step toward Cejudo cementing his position alongside Benavidez as a top contender.
Pettis (16-2) had difficultly maintaining momentum at the start of his UFC tenure, but has hit his stride after moving from bantamweight to flyweight. Though he stumbled against Ryan Benoit in his first fight back at 125 pounds, Pettis has since reeled off four consecutive victories, most recently taking out fast-rising start Brandon Moreno in a headlining bout in Mexico City in August.
A victory over Cejudo would super-charge his claim that he is the rightful next challenger to the UFC flyweight championship.